Nikokh-Tui, wedding, is the most solemn and large Uzbek ceremony. Wedding ceremony traditionally is of great importance in the life of Uzbeks and celebrating as an important event. Uzbek people celebrate weddings very richly and cheerfully with peculiar splendor and abundance of guests. Immediate and remote relatives, neighbors, friends and co-workers are invited to this wedding ceremony.
Having one trait in common, the ceremony has its own peculiarities in various regions. The main moment of the wedding ceremony is moving of a bride from her parent’s home to the home of a bridegroom. In wedding day at bride’s home they eat wedding pilaf, which is cooked at bridegroom’s home and handed over to a bride. The guests eat the same pilaf in the bridegroom’s home. Today the morning pilaf is more frequently prepared in cafes or choykhanas: it is more comfortable and less troublesome for the hosts.
After the morning pilaf the groom with friends and relatives, musicians and dancers come to the house of the bride. The bride in the wedding clothes, today usually in the European white dress, is waiting in the special room, where only mullahs (priests) can come in. They ask her marital consent and then read the prayer – “nikokh”, which effects a marriage.
In wedding day Imam of a mosque says the newly married couple “Khutbai nikoh” (marriage prayer), after finishing this prayer they become a husband and wife before Allah (Lord of Highest). Imam explains the newly married couple rights and duties of husband and wife. Usually after executing nikoh newlyweds go to the registry office for registration of their civil marriage. In the wedding day bridegroom puts on sarpo (garments and shoes, presented by the bride’s party as a wedding gift), after that the bridegroom and his friends go to the bride’s home to greet her parents and relatives. After the bridegroom and his friends return home the bride herself comes there. Before leaving her native home for bridegroom’s home, the bride solemnizes the rite of parting with parents. She is accompanied with close friends. They sing traditional songs “Ulanlar” and “Yor-yor”.
The second part of the wedding ceremony is the farewell with parents and the home. Friends of the groom ship the bride’s dowry and the bride say goodbye to her parents and leaves the house accompanied with her friends and relatives, who sing farewell songs.
In the husband’s house women welcome the bride, singing traditional wedding songs. In front of the door there is the white track, payandoz, by which the bride enters the house. She stops before the door and makes “ostona salom”, the bow to the new house. Women strew her with flowers, sweets, money wishing her beautiful and rich life.
After the evening part of the wedding the groom goes with the bride to their new room. The bride is met by yanga, her relative or close friend. She changes bride’s clothes. After this the groom comes in the room and “pays a ransom” for the bride to yanga.
In the room “yanga” (usually a woman who is intimate with the bride) welcome the bride, then the bride changes her clothes and expects her bridegroom coming, staying behind the “gushanga” (curtain). Not long after the bridegroom accompanied with his close friend “yanga” appears by the room’s door and together with “yanga” goes to the curtain, where his bride is waiting for him. For the purpose of coming in the bride’s place he should symbolically buy out her from the “yanga”, so they start haggling. Thereafter the bride and the bridegroom stay alone for the night.
Early morning “Kelin salomi” (bride’s greeting) rite is solemnized. By the beginning of the ceremony the bridegroom’s parents, all near relatives, the bridegroom’s friends and closest neighbors gather outside. All people in turn come up to the bride with wishes, presents and blessings. The bride is obliged to welcome them, low bowing from the waist and give present to every greeting person. Thereby the festive occasion finishes and family life begins.